Monday, February 3, 2014

How would you draw your thinking?

Hello families,

I have been resting more, to get through some back issues, so I am sorry this is later than I wished.  Last week was full of great things to share,  here they are!  (Have you noticed my photos are better again?  I was able to get a new camera, using the amazon gift cards from some of you- THANK YOU!!!!)

Have a lovely week, Jennifer

Measurement Practice and Learning Something New

Last week I taught the students the simple task of finger knitting with one finger (which is really like chaining in crochet).This required following instructions, watching a model, and coordinating movements and the muscles in your had.  This is like a three-step process, and each person internalized the steps in their own manner.  Some friends were frustrated for a bit and this was a valuable lesson in not giving up, but trying again.  After a short amount of time, the students measured the results of their new skill.  A few of them brought up the problem of where to measure from: the end of the string, or the knot where the finger knitting actually begins?  A precision question, for sure!

Is it a coincidence that, for February, I planned the poem, "Try, Try Again"?  I wonder if you learned to finger knit when you were young and would want to dust off your skills with your child this week.  How long will your pieces become?

Our Experiment

Last week we took the initial steps of the scientific method: to document and discuss our hypotheses.  Rainy/wet days put off the experiment for a few days, so we plan to run our tests on Tuesday of this week, weather willing.  The students are identifying many possible factors involved in making the S hooks go down. Please check out the recent reflection page for more info!

Story Problems

Last week I was excited to begin exploring word problems, or story problems.  My excitement comes from the fact that the students' challenge is to show their thought process on paper.  I love seeing how the students write and draw how they solved the problem.  I first showed a few possibilities, as examples, on Thursday, then the friends tried to solve a similar problem on Friday (about horses, since so many students love this animal!).  Math is so interesting because each of us encounter numbers and problems in different ways.  We also show our thinking in different graphic representations, which can come across with the students' personal artistic or rational thinking style.  Check them out for yourselves!  (You will notice that the same question set up was offered to different children with different numbers, so that many were solving a different problem).

If  you would like to have this fun at home, try to notice times when it could be turned into a story problem for your child, and take the time to let them draw how they solved it.  Setting the table, the laundry, planning a picnic or party favors, and the grocery store are possible places where you might have a good math problem to solve!

This week:
We will run our inclined plane experiment
We will revisit our goals from last week and see how they worked
We begin our February songs and poems: come in to have your child show you these!
We are thinking about our next party...  planning and then we will keep you posted!
We will continue story problems
We begin researching the Silk Road and music from the countries involved to get ready for a future field trip!
We will "go" to Big Bear and the Yucatan Peninsula

Enjoy your week!

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